Report from Africa: Age-old farming practice combats hunger

As he spells out in this Huffington Post article, CALS agroecology grad Carl Wahl has his dream job: Conservation agriculture coordinator for the aid group Concern Worldwide in western Zambia, where growing anything “is like trying to farm on a beach” and poor rainfall leads to total crop failure.  He’s encouraging “climate-smart” conservation agricultural practices. For example: “(W)e train farmers to dig small holes equal distance apart across their fields and fill them with either a handful of manure, compost, or green tree leaves. When the first planting rains come in mid-November, the organic matter acts like a sponge, holding water and nutrients that can nurture a young plant as it grows even in dry weather,” he describes.